Personality isn’t fixed. It isn’t too late to develop traits you wish to possess.
It isn’t too late to develop traits you wish to possess. You don’t have to wait. You don’t need permission. You simply have to decide you want them and then make up your mind to be disciplined enough to pursue them. People into their 30’s and 50’s think that it’s too late for them, that discipline will never come to them, that success will never come to them. They’re wrong. They can still achieve great things at 35 or 45 or 55. Remember Colonel Sanders didn’t start KFC until he was 62! He didn’t even start until then. Then, he kept at it with rigor. He developed the discipline of standard operating procedures for his store and then expanded from there. He created a disciplined system of operating and then passed it down to his people, very similar to McDonalds. It didn’t have anything to do with his age. It had everything to do with his decision to do it and pursue it with great discipline and tenacity. Took him awhile, but he got there. Jocko always says if you want a trait you don’t currently possess, simply make the decision to start being that thing. If you want to be tougher, start being tougher. If you want more fiscal discipline, start acting with greater fiscal discipline in all areas of your life. If you want physical discipline, start a regular work out routine. If you want to be funnier, start hanging around funny people and telling funny stories and making funny observations. It all begins with the decision to be something.
It starts in your mind. Deciding for yourself is powerful. It sets off a catalyst of brainwaves and events to begin acting in a new direction. Note that it won’t be easy; new disciplines never are. However, it will grant you the lead time and the start to your new behavior. It all begins with deciding you are something or you are no longer something. You’re reshaping identity. This is no small feat. Note, too, that as you reshape your identity, your personality is likely to change. This is only natural. Personality is not fixed. It is more fluid than we give it credit for. Think about your personality as a teenager vs. your personality as a 35 year old. Do you see a difference? If you’re like most people, they have little in common. It is common sense that as we shift and shape our identity, our personality will change slightly. The people closest to you may not like the new you you’re shaping. That’s OK. They’ve set their preconceived notions of you and do not wish for you to change or challenge them. Watching you change shows them that change is possible even for them, and that may make them feel bad about themselves.
This should be emotionally freeing. You are what you set yourself out to be, what you decide to be. If you want to be known as a more aggressive go-getter type, decide to be that way and begin acting that way. If you want to be known as a master of physical discipline, decide that you’re going to be that way and start acting in that manner and making decisions as someone who would be that way. If you want to be bolder around people, make the decision to start being bolder and taking more chances around people. We are not fixed. We are malleable. We shape ourselves as much as we shape others. You can develop any emotional trait you wish to. You make the decision to begin acting that way now.